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Research Report

Recasting EU civilian crisis management

EDITED BY Thierry Tardy
Nina Antolovic Tovornik
Clément Boutillier
Snowy Lintern
Birgit Loeser
Roderick Parkes
Michel Savary
Tanja Tamminen
Catherine Woollard
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2017
Pages: 91
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 3-4)
    Antonio Missiroli

    Back in 2003, when the first EU civilian crisis management mission was launched (in Bosnia and Herzegovina), the general expectation was that such ‘non-military’ activities would basically complement the ‘core’ business of what was then called ESDP (now CSDP) and/or reinforce existing NATO operations in the Western Balkans. Today, in 2017, the general evaluation is that EU civilian crisis management has morphed into an overarching ‘umbrella’ that goes beyond CSDP to encompass a much wider set of activities, ranging from administrative and training support to robust monitoring and executive functions on land and at sea – sometimes resembling military operations...

  2. (pp. 5-8)
    Thierry Tardy

    Responding to external crises through civilian means has been a responsibility of the European Union since its very inception. During the Cold War, the European Economic Community’s role in development and humanitarian aid policies de facto made it a crisis response actor, in implicit accordance with the then non-conceptualised ‘security-development nexus’. With the end of the Cold War and the EU’s aspiration to develop its own Common Foreign Policy, crisis management became prominent at a time when the EU was almost exclusively a civilian institution. In the meantime, the evolution of the intergovernmental Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) –...

  3. (pp. 9-22)
    Thierry Tardy

    Civilian crisis management (CCM) has become a central part of the EU’s external action and is likely to acquire even more prominence in response to the evolving threats to European security. Yet CCM remains under-conceptualised and suffers from weak visibility as well as from a certain level of scepticism about its added-value, in particular in comparison with its military counterpart.

    This chapter aims to unpack the recent evolutions of CCM and the challenges ahead, and sets the scene for the subsequent chapters. It first provides some definitional elements relating to CCM and of the environment in which it operates. It...

  4. (pp. 23-34)
    Tanja Tamminen

    The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), which became the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, developed in the aftermath of the Balkan wars, which showed the limits and shortcomings of the EU when it came to preventing and managing crises in its neighbourhood. The 1998 St Malo Declaration was a turning point as for the first time France’s president and the UK’s prime minister together called for an EU ‘capacity for autonomous action’ to be developed, ‘backed up by credible military forces’, in order to ‘respond to international crises.’ This...

  5. (pp. 35-40)
    Snowy Lintern

    In the last few years the synergies between the EU military and non-military – by definition ‘civilian’ – dimensions of crisis management have expanded exponentially. The two key drivers for this have been doctrinal developments and the pressing need to respond coherently to emerging crises. The doctrinal developments, notably since the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS) with the increased potential and the ambition of making the EU’s external action more consistent, more effective and more strategic, led to the articulation of the Comprehensive Approach. Recently updated to the ‘Integrated Approach’, although the implications of this shift are...

  6. (pp. 41-48)
    Clément Boutillier

    In her opening speech at the International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa in December 2016, the High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, stated that ‘sustainable security’ was a common objective for Europe and Africa. Beyond crises that need to be resolved urgently, she pointed out that both continents should focus on a long-term approach to conflicts and crises. This is all the more important given that many countries in the world are confronted with recurrent episodes of crisis and violence. In six countries out of ten, humanitarian needs in the aftermath of man-made and/...

  7. (pp. 49-60)
    Roderick Parkes

    Any attempt by member governments to reform the EU’s institutions and to break down policy silos is potentially perilous, but especially when carried out in conditions of urgency. Since 2013 the EU-28 has experienced a severe migration crisis, leading to a thorough shakeup of EU activities at home and abroad. FRONTEX, the EU’s Agency for Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States, has been a focus for reform and was upgraded in September 2016 to become the ‘European Border and Coast Guard’. It gained new powers to manage the EU’s land and sea borders, as well as...

  8. (pp. 61-68)
    Birgit Loeser

    As policy responses to terrorism, counter-terrorism (CT) and prevention/counter-violent extremism (P/CVE) efforts sit at the crossroads of both the internal/external security nexus and the security/development nexus. As such, CT and P/CVE are central components of civilian crisis management. Within the EU, these interlinkages have been identified and developed only gradually, but are now firmly embedded in the latest policy initiatives such as the ‘Security Union’ and the ‘Global Strategy’.

    The origins of contemporary policies against terrorist activities in the Arab world, Africa and the West can be traced to the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States. The way...

  9. (pp. 69-76)
    Catherine Woollard

    The role of civil society is essential to civilian crisis management (CCM), both from an international and local perspective. Civil society is an actor and a recipient of crisis management and plays a key role in the process of making any form of third-party intervention accountable. As such it has entered into a relationship with the EU that is characterised by some degree of cooperation as well as by diverging agendas.

    This chapter explores the relationship between civil society and EU CCM. It first provides an overview of the involvement of civil society in CCM. It then focuses on the...

  10. (pp. 77-78)
    Thierry Tardy

    The speed of the evolution of the security environment and the magnitude of the difficulties the EU currently faces pose a number of challenges for civilian crisis management (CCM). As is the case for any security instrument, EU CCM has to build up its short-term efficacy and long-term relevance in an era characterised by the multifaceted nature of threats, the increasingly overlapping nature of internal and external security, and the interdependence between security and development.

    What, in this context, should be the level of ambition for the EU? How should CCM evolve so as to contribute to the ‘security of...